Bradbury, Ray :
Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon From the Cave, Too Far From the Stars
(HarperCollins/Morrow 0-06-058568-4, $25.95, 11+243pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket design and illustration Ervin Serrano)
Collection of 37 essays (12 of them original to this book), including 7 about writing and 5 about SF. Other groups of essays are about people, about life, about Paris, and about Los Angeles.
The publisher's site has this description --"memories, ruminations, opinions, prophecies, and philosophies from one of the most influential and admired writers of our time" -- and an excerpt from essay "My Demon, Not Afraid of Happiness".
Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist; the former says "Some of these stories may be familiar, and some are told twice, but Bradbury's friendly, conversational tone always makes them worth hearing again."
Buckner, M. M. :
(Ace 0-441-01320-1, $7.99, 375pp, mass market paperback, September 2005, cover art Christian McGrath, cover design Annette Fiore)
SF novel, set in the same future as the author's previous novels Hyperthought and Neurolink, about a wealthy, virtually-immortal corporate executive who assuages boredom by engaging in the extreme sport of 'war surfing'.
Buckner's site has this page about the book, with cover blurbs and a brief excerpt.
Cheryl Morgan reviewed it in Emerald City, concluding "an ambitious and heartfelt novel with a fine ending .... So the next time someone tells you that American SF is dead, ask them to add M.M. Buckner to the list of people that they ought to be reading."
Carey, Jacqueline :
(Tor 0-765-31239-5, $25.95, 349pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket art Donato Giancola)
Fantasy novel, second in duology "The Sundering", about seven gods waging war for control of the universe. The first volume, Banewreaker, was just released in paperback.
The author's website has a description and sample chapter from the first book, as well as a synopsis from her next Kushiel novel.
Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
Faren Miller reviewed it in the August issue of Locus Magazine, describing the duology as "a deliberate invocation and reworking of Tolkien's LOTR and later epics of Good and Evil, in print or on film".
Delany, Samuel R. :
(Bamberger Books 0-917453-41-7, $14, 95pp, trade paperback, October 2004)
Historical homoerotic fantasy novel, in which a modern critical essay frames and synopsizes an anonymous 1969 gay porn novel that tells of a 2nd-century search search for the jeweled phallus from the statue of ancient god.
A much shorter version appeared in the journal Callaloo, a Journal of African-American and African Arts and Letters in 1997.
Delany describes and discusses the book in this 2004 interview; "A simple driver behind Phallos is the impulse to examine how pleasure integrates into one's ordinary life. ..."
Elsewhere online is this Village Voice review, and L. Timmel Duchamp's list of Read and Appreciated in 2004 for Fantastic Metropolis with a description of the book.
Dozois, Gardner, ed. :
Galileo's Children: Tales of Science vs. Superstition
(Pyr Books 1-59102-315-7, $25, 346pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket illustration David Brian, jacket design Jacqueline Cooke)
Anthology of 13 stories describing battles between science and superstition. Contents include Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Stars Below", Greg Egan's "Oracle", Robert Silverberg's "The Pope of the Chimps", George R.R. Martin's (Hugo winner) "The Way of Cross and Dragon", and Arthur C. Clarke's "The Star", along with stories by Keith Roberts, Edgar Pangborn, Chris Lawson, Brendan DuBois, James Alan Gardner, Paul Park, James Tiptree Jr., and Mike Resnick.
The publisher's page excerpts Dozois' introduction, and has quotes from reviews.
Scifidimensions interviews Dozois about this book, the dangers of Intelligent Design and the anti-science climate in America.
The Amazon page has the Booklist review by Carl Hays: "Enhanced by Dozois' insightful introductions to each author, the collection demonstrates that protecting scientific truth against political and religious meddlers can be entertaining as well as enlightening." Green Man Review has this review by J.J.S. Boyce.
Fisher, Catherine :
The Sphere of Secrets
(HarperCollins/Greenwillow 0-06-057161-6, $16.99, 370pp, hardcover, June 2005, jacket art Nenad Jakesevic) First US edition (UK: Hodder Children's Books, 2004)
YA fantasy novel, second in "The Oracle Prophecies" trilogy following The Oracle Betrayed (2004), about a god reborn as a boy who struggles to end the drought affecting his land.
The HarperCollins site has this description. The 2004 UK edition was called The Archon. The author's webpage has background and links, including an excerpt from the third book in the trilogy, Darkhenge.
Amazon has reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist.
Carolyn Cushman reviewed it in the August issue of Locus Magazine: "This young-adult fantasy, which blends elements of ancient Greece and Egypt, retains much of its unusual flavor, but suffers from a mix of middle-book syndrome and a divided plot."
Ford, Jeffrey :
The Girl in the Glass
(HarperCollins/Dark Alley 0-06-093619-3, $13.95, 286pp, trade paperback, August 2005, cover design Georgia Liebman)
Fantasy novel about Depression-era hucksters who encounter a real spirit, an image of a girl in a pane of glass, pleading for their help.
The publisher's site has this description -- "At once a hypnotically compelling mystery and a stunningly evocative portrait of Depression-era New York, The Girl in the Glass is a masterly literary adventure from a writer of exemplary vision and skill."
Ford provides the description and links to reviews in this entry from his blog.
Online reviews include Cheryl Morgan's, John Clute's, and The New York Times'.
Nick Gevers reviewed it in the August issue of Locus Magazine, saying the book's "unassuming manner, along with the text's dearth of obvious fantastic elements and its relatively straightforward plotting, may turn some of Ford's past readers off, but The Girl in the Glass is in fact a well-wrought, entertaining, and heartening work, not so casually to be ignored."
This book is the first seen by Locus Online that prints the new expanded ISBN-13 on the back cover: 978-0-06-093619-8.
Hunt, Walter H. :
The Dark Crusade
(Tor 0-765-31117-8, $25.95, 432pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket art David Seeley)
Military SF novel, fourth in the series following The Dark Wing, The Dark Path, and The Dark Ascent, concerning ongoing war between humans and insectoid aliens.
The author's website includes a chronology of the Dark Wing Universe and an excerpt.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the former says the book "expands the bounds of military SF to touch on the philosophy and morality of war." while Roland Green's review for the latter concludes "The saga now seems to be influenced by Weber, Herbert, and even Tolkien, which is to say by three of the most proven crowd--pleasers in speculative fiction of the last half century."
Book editor: Brian Thomsen.
Lackey, Mercedes, & Rosemary Edghill, eds. :
(Baen 1-4165-0893-7, $26, 292pp, hardcover, August 2005, cover art Bob Eggleton)
Anthology of 13 original stories set in the world of Mercedes Lackey's urban fantasy "Bedlam's Bard" series, plus an essay by Lackey. Authors include Diana L. Paxson, Dave Freer & Eric Flint, and Sarah A. Hoyt.
Baen's site has this description with links to several stories.
Amazon has a brief description, and reader reviews.
McIntosh, Fiona :
Blood and Memory: The Quickening, Book Two
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-06-074758-7, $14.95, 463pp, trade paperback, August 2005) First US edition (Australia: HarperCollins/Voyager, June 2004)
Fantasy novel, second in the Quickening trilogy following Myrren's Gift (published in March), in which a young ruler leans to deal with the unusual nature of the 'gift' he received in the first novel.
HarperCollins' site has this description and an excerpt.
The author's website has brief descriptions of the three books in the trilogy (the third has already been published in Australia), and numerous links to information about the author.
Amazon has the PW review: "Despite this being the middle of a trilogy, McIntosh manages to sustain suspense while deftly handling a large cast of characters and an intricate plot." Books03d.html#25290
Miéville, China :
Looking for Jake
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-47607-7, $13.95, 303pp, trade paperback, September 2005, cover design David Stevenson)
Collection of 14 stories, 4 of them original to this book. Included is the novella "The Tain", previously published in 2003 by PS Publishing and winner of the Locus Award for Best Novella of the year, and "Reports of Certain Events in London", which tied for a 2005 Locus Award as Best Novelette. One of the originals is "On the Way to the Front", a graphic short story illustrated by Liam Sharp.
Del Rey's site has this description -- "What William Gibson did for science fiction, China Mi‚ville has done for fantasy..." -- and an excerpt.
Miéville has a Wikipedia entry.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the latter, by Ray Olson, is a starred review, concluding "In every story, Mieville's way with voice and perspective is utterly captivating. Brilliant work."
Both Nick Gevers and Gary K. Wolfe review it in the September issue of Locus Magazine; Gevers calls it "a powerful assemblage, easily among the best collections of the year."
Paolini, Christopher :
(Random House/Knopf 0-375-82670-X, $21, 17+681pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket illustration John Jude Palencar)
YA fantasy novel, second volume in the "Inheritance" trilogy following Eragon (2003), concerning a young man's quest to save his land from a wicked emperor. In this volume Eragon travels to the land of the elves for training in magic and battle, while his cousin faces a siege back home.
The book includes a synopsis of the first volume, a map, and a language guide.
The author's story is as famous as J.K. Rowling's; he wrote the first book at age 15 and self-published it before Knopf bought it two years ago, and it's been on bestseller lists ever since.
The publisher's site has this description and a reader's guide.
The books' website includes an excerpt.
Amazon has its own review by Patty Campbell -- "The story is solidly in the tradition (some might say derivative) of the classic heroic quest fantasy, with the predictable cast of dwarves, elves, and dragons--but also including some imaginatively creepy creatures of evil." -- and over 100 reader reviews whose scores average 3 stars out of 5.
Scott, Martin :
Thraxas and the Sorcerers
(Baen 0-743-49908-5, $22, 262pp, hardcover, June 2005, cover painting Tom Kidd) First US edition (UK: Orbit, November 2001)
Humorous fantasy detective novel, fifth in the series about a portly private eye in the mystical city of Turai. In this book Thraxas is hired to investigate the theft of previous dragon scales.
The first in the series, Thraxas, won the 2000 World Fantasy Award. There are eight books in the series so far, as listed at Thraxas; the next to be published in the US is Thraxas and the Dance of Death from Baen in October. The others have so far been published only in the UK.
Baen's site for this book has the jacket blurb with links to several chapter excerpts.
Shinn, Sharon :
The Truth-Teller's Tale
(Penguin/Viking 0-670-06000-3, $16.99, 276pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket illustration Matt Mahurin)
YA fantasy novel, follow-up to The Safe-Keeper's Secret (2004), about two girls, Eleda and Adele, who are "mirror twins", one a Safe-Keeper and the other a Truth-Teller.
The author's webpage has brief descriptions of this and her earlier books.
Amazon has reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist; the latter's starred review concludes "the comforting, fairy-tale rhythms of the girls' stories exert an irresistible pull, and Shinn's numerous fans will welcome a second helping of the refreshing tale spinning and charmingly homespun, village-centered fantasy culture that marked The Safe-Keeper's Secret".
Tiedemann, Mark W. :
(BenBella 1-932100-49-0, $14.95, 320pp, trade paperback, July 2005, cover illustration J.P. Targete)
SF novel about a security officer in a settlement on Mars tracking down the implications of his wife's death in a mysterious industrial accident.
The publisher's site has this description. This corner of the author's website has a description and blurbs.
Amazon has the Booklist review by Regina Schroeder: "a fast-paced, entertaining adventure".
Pamela Sargent reviewed it for SF Weekly, concluding "Remains is a solid and intelligent entertainment."
Viehl, S. L. :
(Roc 0-451-46029-4, $23.95, 312pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket art Allen Douglas)
SF novel in the author's Stardoc universe, direct follow-up to last year's Bio Rescue, which is just out in paperback. The new book concerns a peace conference held on the planet of an undersea-dwelling alien race.
The publisher's site has this brief description.
Amazon has the PW and Booklist reviews; the latter concludes "Like previous volumes in Viehl's League of Allied Worlds saga, Afterburn is an entertaining adventure and a surprisingly thoughtful look at the ways greatly different species might interact."
Ward, James M. :
Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe
(Tor 0-765-31253-0, $24.95, 288pp, hardcover, September 2005, jacket art Jon Foster)
YA fantasy novel about a wizard academy graduate who takes an assignment aboard a dragonship, a ship grafted onto a live sea dragon.
The author has written Forgotten Realms novelizations, but this appears to be his first original effort.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which says "Hogwarts goes to sea in Ward's workmanlike fantasy debut."
Carolyn Cushman reviewed the book in the August issue of Locus Magazine, having some reservations but concluding "the mix of sea adventure and fantasy is entertaining, a fun adventure and promising start to a new series."
Williamson, Jack :
The Stonehenge Gate
(Tor 0-765-30897-5, $24.95, 316pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket art John Harris)
SF novel about four friends from Eastern New Mexico University who discover gateways in the Sahara that lead to other worlds.
The novel was serialized in Analog magazine earlier this year. Given Williamson's recent statement that he's done writing, this may well be his last novel.
Amazon has the PW review -- "This trippy stand-alone from Hugo- and Nebula-winner Williamson reads like a novelization of Paul Verhoeven directing Jules Verne's combined rewrite of H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and C.S. Lewis's Perelandra." -- and reader reviews comparing the book to SF pulp writers of the '30s and '40s.
Book editor: Jim Frenkel.
Wolfe, Gene :
(Tor 0-765-31202-6, $25.95, 352pp, hardcover, August 2005)
Collection of 25 stories, a mixture of SF and fantasy works. Titles include "Golden City Far", which won the Locus Award as best novella of 2004 and which is current a World Fantasy Award finalist; "Pulp Cover", which placed #2 in the Locus poll for best short story; and 2001 novella "Viewpoint".
Wolfe's introduction describes the inspirations for the stories.
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its June 27th issue: "Wolfe's seventh volume of stellar short stories, written mostly between 2000 and 2005, ranges from haunting horror and biting near-contemporary social commentary to high fantasy and far-future SF, all amply demonstrating his mastery of trademark ironic twists of plot and characterization."
Nick Gevers' review in the August issue of Locus Magazine called it "a significant and deeply rewarding book." Faren Miller's review appears in the September issue.
Book editor: David G. Hartwell.